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Digital Citizen - Get Online Stay Connected Paul Kelly

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Paul Kelly
Senior Information and
Learning Services Manager

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Libraries NI
Libraries NI has responsibility for the provision of public library
services in Northern Ireland and is a Non...

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The Library Network

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Digital Citizen - Get Online Stay Connected Paul Kelly

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This project aims to tackle the serious digital skills deficit in N Ireland by delivering digital learning opportunities in an accessible form across the public library network.

Digital skills are now necessary life skills, and these skills will become even more important in the future given that so many everyday activities – such as shopping, banking, communicating and accessing services, advice and information – increasingly require interaction with technology.

A dedicated team of seven staff are delivering an additional 2,000 tailored training opportunities targeted at sections of the population with the greatest skills needs.

The target groups which this project is primarily concerned with are:

people living in poverty
people from rural areas
older people
people with disabilities

The Digital Citizen project takes people from ‘digital muggle’ to ‘digital citizen’

Digital Muggle: No digital skills required – digital technology may as well be magic

Digital Citizen: the same work skills as are required to be a full digital citizen. This is the ability to use digital technology purposefully and confidently to communicate, find information and purchase goods/services.

While also positively impacting self-efficacy specifically around developing confidence and skills and address inequalities in society. The action learning approach tailors the learning to activities the individual wishes to take part in.

This project has a number of additional elements which are not included in the current Libraries NI digital support offer – for example delivery of specific learning opportunities to people with disabilities or vulnerable adults and development of programmes in relation to online safety which is an area of concern especially for older adults.

The Digital Citizen project reaches those in communities who have not been able to avail of basic IT training for reasons such as accessibility, affordability, awareness, or confidence.

This project aims to tackle the serious digital skills deficit in N Ireland by delivering digital learning opportunities in an accessible form across the public library network.

Digital skills are now necessary life skills, and these skills will become even more important in the future given that so many everyday activities – such as shopping, banking, communicating and accessing services, advice and information – increasingly require interaction with technology.

A dedicated team of seven staff are delivering an additional 2,000 tailored training opportunities targeted at sections of the population with the greatest skills needs.

The target groups which this project is primarily concerned with are:

people living in poverty
people from rural areas
older people
people with disabilities

The Digital Citizen project takes people from ‘digital muggle’ to ‘digital citizen’

Digital Muggle: No digital skills required – digital technology may as well be magic

Digital Citizen: the same work skills as are required to be a full digital citizen. This is the ability to use digital technology purposefully and confidently to communicate, find information and purchase goods/services.

While also positively impacting self-efficacy specifically around developing confidence and skills and address inequalities in society. The action learning approach tailors the learning to activities the individual wishes to take part in.

This project has a number of additional elements which are not included in the current Libraries NI digital support offer – for example delivery of specific learning opportunities to people with disabilities or vulnerable adults and development of programmes in relation to online safety which is an area of concern especially for older adults.

The Digital Citizen project reaches those in communities who have not been able to avail of basic IT training for reasons such as accessibility, affordability, awareness, or confidence.

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Digital Citizen - Get Online Stay Connected Paul Kelly

  1. 1. Paul Kelly Senior Information and Learning Services Manager
  2. 2. Libraries NI Libraries NI has responsibility for the provision of public library services in Northern Ireland and is a Non Departmental Public Body which reports to the Department for Communities. Public library services are delivered through a network of: • 96 branch libraries • 16 mobile libraries • 9 Homecall Service vehicles • 2 Specialist Heritage locations.
  3. 3. The Library Network
  4. 4. What is the Digital Citizen Project? The project consists of six trainers located throughout Northern Ireland. They tackle the digital skills deficit in Northern Ireland by delivering learning opportunities in an accessible form across the library network and in community settings.
  5. 5. Rationale and Need Research by Citizens Online showed that: • 18.8% of the population have never used the internet • 32.2% of the NI population aged 16 - 65 years have low or no digital skills. The research also showed the groups at risk of digital exclusion include: • economically inactive • over 65 year olds • rural dwellers. https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/publications/digital-inclusion-research-report
  6. 6. Digital Citizen Project Objectives Delivery of 2,000 digital learning opportunities throughout Northern Ireland to: • adults in ‘neighbourhood renewal’ areas • adults in ‘rural’ areas • adults with disabilities • older adults.
  7. 7. Digital Citizen Project Objectives • improve safe use of online services • improve health through improved skills and communication • improve self-efficacy through improved confidence and problem solving skills.
  8. 8. Where we deliver
  9. 9. Basic Digital Skills Managing Information - find, manage and store content. Communicating - interact, collaborate and connect with others. Transacting - register for and use digital government services. Problem Solving - independence and confidence by finding solutions using digital tools. Creating - create basic digital content in order to engage with digital communities.
  10. 10. What we Offer Training sessions for groups and individuals offered in a library, or in a community setting. This training is aimed at people with limited digital skills. It can be delivered in formal group sessions or in learner led one-to-one eClinics or longer courses.
  11. 11. Learn About - • computer basics • finding information and accessing services • email and social networking • various tablet and mobile devices • shopping online • saving money • anything else you want to know!
  12. 12. Short Course Delivery • introduction to the iPad • taking and editing photos on an iPad • keeping yourself and your kids safe online – privacy and security settings • spotting scams and how to avoid them • Facebook – controlling your settings • eBooks and eMagazines.
  13. 13. Library Delivery Larne Library hosted the Digital Citizen Project team on a weekly basis, providing beneficial IT skills to customers – especially helpful as we are living more and more in a world of e-forms etc.
  14. 14. Outreach Delivery Relaxed and learning together on their short course.
  15. 15. Outreach Group: Feedback “I’ve learnt how to protect myself online and spot a scam.” Emma “I found it very interesting. Recognising scams. Learning about security passwords on your devices.” Charlene “I found it very interesting and it has also helped me to recognize scams and be more internet aware.” Aoife
  16. 16. Progress NB each participant can fall under multiple ‘Target Group’ categories TOTAL ATTENDANCE Target Group TSE/NR Target Group Rural Target Group Adults with disabilities Target Group Older 2427 1220 1037 673 1679
  17. 17. Further Outcomes • 23% felt less isolated • 47% felt enabled to communicate with family and friends • 29% made new friends • 17% felt it impacted positively on their well being.
  18. 18. Feedback from Sessions “I have the knowledge of how to Skype my son in Canada!” “I am visually impaired - this has helped me get Audiobooks.” “Absolutely great. Was an eye opener and hopefully a door opening to Internet use.”
  19. 19. Maghera Library Staff Feedback “Being a ‘techno-dino’ myself I appreciate the benefit that this project is having on the customers in my area who have little or no knowledge of technology but are so very keen to learn. It is a great opportunity for them judging by the response I have had.” Carol O’Doherty Branch Library Manager Maghera Library

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